MOSCOW – Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday will be 65 years old with no plans to retire anytime soon, according to all reports, he is more than likely to run for re-election.
“Not only have I not yet decided what i’m going to do today, let alone, if I’m going to run for candidacy,” he said this week.
Although Putin remains intrigued about when he might present his candidacy, in fact the only question is, whether he will run as independent or backed by the ruling party, United Russia.
According to the Conspiracy Talk News reporters, Putin could give the big news at the Sochi International Youth Festival in the middle of this month; on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution in November, or at its annual press conference in December, at the very latest.
When he has was asked about the possibility of retiring, he replied, that it is not unusual for heads of state to remain in office for many years and often brings up the case of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was in power for 16 years.
In any case, the Russian leader did not make it clear that he is or will be campaigning to achieve a new presidential term of six years that would allow him to be in power until 2024, almost a quarter of a century.
This week he received the backing of some twenty ambassadors – and met with two heads of state: the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdelaziz, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
With the exception of his chronic back problems, observers are looking for weak signs, but Putin stays in shape, as seen in August during his traditional Siberian getaway to fish and swim in a lake.
It is true that with the passage of time he has reduced his travel schedule abroad, although the involvement of the Kremlin in international affairs has only increased since his military intervention in Syria.
His role as arbiter in the settlement of several international conflicts and seen as the most influential man in the world, according to Time magazine, have even made him this year a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“No, it has not bothered us,” said Dmitri Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, about the fact that Putin did not get the award, which was won by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, in 1990.
Putin will celebrate his birthday as usual, as a “slave in the galleys”, that is to say, working, since he has planned a meeting with the members of the Russian Security Council.
Despite being 65 years old, the Russian leader will not only celebrate his birthday in private, as last year, but will combine the family reunion with his professional obligations.
“He usually celebrates his birthday with his loved ones, but sometimes he does it with his coworkers,” Peskov explained.
The Kremlin ruled out a possible phone contact that day with US President Donald Trump, but Putin himself will hold a “string” of telephone conversations with other world leaders.
In an attempt to ruin his Sunday, the leader of the extra-parliamentary opposition, Alexei Navalni, called a day of protest in more than 80 cities in the country, including St. Petersburg, home of the Kremlin chief.
“He has been in power for 18 years and that is enough. October 7 is the day when we must say it all together … that Putin should hear it and go to a well-deserved pension, ” he wrote.
The Kremlin has already warned that those who organize unauthorized public acts will be prosecuted, but the opposition has gone ahead with its plans anyways, so analysts predict a day of unrest and arrests across the country.
However, according to the latest polls, Putin’s ratings continue to exceed 80% and, if the elections were held today, he would be re-elected with 66% of the votes.
“The future of Russia I only link it with his name. Expectations are very high, hopes too. And this is the position of the overwhelming majority of citizens of our country, “said Viacheslav Volodin, the president of the Duma or Russian Chamber of Deputies.